In this post I’m catching up on reporting our spending over the last three months. I was expecting to get through the May and June reports before DPR arrived, but as she came early they were deferred!
May was an unusually social month as some of my family came into town and we went out of town for our family baby shower. DPR arrived at the end of the month.
We spent most of June in the NICU with DPR, so it was a totally wacky month for spending – lots on parking and eating out, not so much on groceries. Kyle’s parents came into town for two weeks of the month and generously bought a lot of food and miscellaneous baby things for us, and many of our friends brought us meals while DPR was in the hospital and just after we arrived home. We spent an enormous amount of money on Amazon to get ready to take DPR home.
In July we went into what I think is a fairly typical new-parent hermitage. We spent another good chunk of money on Amazon (partly funded by gift cards) and also started buying formula and disposable diapers using our grocery budget, something we had not anticipated.
The aspect of our spending in this period that I’m most frustrated about is all the spending we did on stuff for DPR – unexpectedly. We had been taking a minimalist/frugal approach to baby spending (e.g., used dresser that doubles as a changing surface), but we simply ran out of time to complete that and had to finish our purchases from the hospital. We’ve also spent a pretty penny on formula and disposable diapers, which we hadn’t planned on but became necessary due to the early arrival.
Sources of Income
Our budget is based on Kyle’s income, and my contractor income in this period was added to our available “miscellaneous” line.
From our gross pay, we set aside/transfer:
- 18% toward retirement
- 10% for our tithe
Our variable expense spending jumped around much more than normal, and even our fixed expense spending saw a shake-up.
Rent $1375/$1375/$1495 ($1375 budgeted): Our rent went up for August, but I haven’t adjusted our budget yet.
Water/Sewer/Garbage $120/$120/$130 ($120 budgeted): Ditto for the water charge.
Phones $61.54/$61.55/$61.55 ($65 budgeted): Republic Wireless for me and Cricket Wireless for Kyle!
Internet $44.99/$44.99/$44.99 ($45 budgeted)
Netflix $21.90/$21.90/$21.90 ($22 budgeted)
Student Loan $98.32/$98.32/$98.32 ($99 budgeted)
Transit $88.25/$204.66/$59.96 ($50 budgeted): This category was one of the main ones impacted by our hospital stay and subsequent medical appointments. We used far more gas than normal and paid quite a bit for parking at the hospital. We also got our car washed for the first time like ever.
Power $82.86/$0/$52.47 ($50 budgeted): Our power bill is a bit lower in the summer as we don’t have A/C.
Groceries $531.13/$185.73/$559.79 ($600 budgeted): May was a pretty normal month for groceries. We were in the hospital for most of June, so we barely spent money on groceries as we were mostly eating out or having food brought to us by visitors. Kyle’s parents also bought groceries for us when they visited at the end of the month. In July we were back to fairly normal food spending, plus we included DPR’s disposable diapers and formula in our grocery costs.
Restaurants $398.18/$150.72/$13.47 ($100 budgeted): May was the month of eating out: with friends in Seattle, with friends in LA, with family that visited us (our treat!), with family that we visited, while traveling, and while out exploring a park. June was the month of convenience hospital eating. July was the first month with DPR at home so we didn’t eat out socially at all; the one meal out was a lunch at work for Kyle.
In total, we are allocating $1,000 per month (on average) to spend across five six seven categories.
In this period, we spent:
Gifts $25.18/$0/$43.10: We gave two baby shower gifts.
Appearance $231.81/$0/$0: In May, I finally bought some maternity clothes, of course not realizing that I was so close to the end of my pregnancy! I spent $201.81 on two dresses for my two baby showers and two new tops. I also got a haircut.
Baby $238.08/$1,337.59/$37.68: In May, we bought a portable washing machine, used cloth diapers, and some small baby items. In June, from the hospital we placed our largest Amazon order ever. I haven’t taken the time to break all this down yet, but I will soon because for goodness sakes I don’t know how people claim that babies don’t need anything. The only charge in June was the copay for my breast pump rental.
Health $0/$31.91/$656.52: This consists of two $200 deductibles, several $25 copays for appointments, and prescription medication.
Our total available miscellaneous money for this period was $335.02. We spent $268.50, broken down as:
- $40 on laundry quarters
- $67.74 on a Mother’s Day gift from Kyle to me (framed photographs from our cross-country trip)
- $4.37 on furnishings
- $25 to check a bag on a flight
- $31.05 a Home Depot trip to get our washing machine set up
- $131.39 on stuff from Amazon that I can’t be bothered to categorize right now
Monthly: Spent $7,622.49 of $7,578 budgeted – over!
Irregular: Spent $2,601.87 of $3,000 budgeted – under!
Miscellaneous: Spent $268.50 of $335.02 budgeted – under!
This period, we spent $10,492.86 of $10,913.02 available.
Wow, I can’t believe our spending stayed within the confines of our available money in this period! In some ways we were hemorrhaging money (so much baby stuff from Amazon!), but our family and friends were also incredibly generous with us in terms of baby gifts and food.
How much money did you spend on baby stuff just before and after your first child was born? Do you have a go-to retailer for so many different items that you have difficulty categorizing them?